Brazil: Quietly Conquering Latin American Poker Scene?

Written by Michael F. on 2010-01-08 at 14:38
Brazilian gambling laws - GamingZion
According to Brazilian gambling laws, all casino-style games are illegal throughout the country. This ban stretches back to the 1960s, when most forms of gambling were banned due to their connection with organized crime. This ban does not specifically outlaw poker, but because Brazil has no casinos, commercial poker was hard to come by for many years. 

The last few years, however, have seen great change. Poker “associations” have started to emerge, working carefully around the country’s gambling laws to make sure their operations are not closed down. But the biggest form of commercial poker in Brazil comes in the form of massive tournaments, like the Brazilian Series of Poker, which has been running for several years. These tournaments give skilled players a chance to enjoy the game and earn money while doing so. 

Large international tournaments are also starting to make stops in Brazil. In spring of 2008, the Latin American Poker Tour kicked off for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, drawing an impressive crowd of local players. In September of 2009, Brazil went on to win the Americas Cup of Poker in Argentina. The country is producing more and more poker champs as the years go by, and is emerging as one of the hottest new poker regions in the Americas. 

Online poker sites in Brazil went unregulated for many years, but this could be changing very soon. In 2008, the government began to draft a proposal very similar to the UIGEA in the United States. By August 2009 a draft of the proposal was already being viewed by the Senate, though officials note that the regulations could take several years to put into place. The proposed legislation prohibits Brazilian credit card companies from processing transactions related to “unauthorized” online gambling. The full impact of the bill is not yet clear, especially with regards to foreign online gambling operators that have no physical presence in Brazil.

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